Joey Barton confirmed Wes Hoolahan has been training with his Fleetwood squad but explained why the Irishman is not yet officially a Town player.
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The midfielder, 36, was released by Norwich in the summer, with Oxford United and some Championship clubs also linked with the former Blackpool favourite.
But Barton hopes it is the challenge and desire to play for his Fleetwood side that would lure Hoolahan to Highbury and not money.
Barton said: “Wes trained with us last week. We invited him in.
“He had not been training with anyone. He had been doing bits in Ireland on his own.
“He is a quality individual. We would certainly be interested in following that up – whether we can do it or not is a different matter.
“I will sit and talk with the owner, and sit and speak with Wes and his people and see where we get to.
“We only want people who want to be at Fleetwood Town.
“There are probably other clubs who can pay more money than us. There are clubs with better budgets than ours.
“We want players who want to be here for the right reasons, and if Wes decides it is for him we will certainly explore that because he has been a fantastic player and knows the area really well.
“But we have some good players in those positions.
“As I say, if we get the opportunity to upgrade, then we will take it.
“At this moment in time I am happy with what we have got.”
Barton was happy with how his central defensive pairing of Craig Morgan and Ash Eastham is developing after back-to-back clean sheets, following Wednesday’s 5-0 win at Scunthorpe with Saturday’s goalless draw at Charlton Athletic.
Barton added: “This week we have played two play-off sides and have shown that we are more than a match for them.
“It’s really pleasing, building nicely. They are starting to form a real partnership now.
“We knew all about Morgs, his leadership qualities and defensive qualities.
“He will hold his hands up and say he has had a year out of football really and he is now starting to show that real quality.
“Ash Eastham we have watched from a distance and knew what a leader he was.
“To have those two in the central areas when you come to places like this gives you a little bit more composure.”